Top Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Read This Article
or Why 11 is the Loneliest Number
Being a systems thinker, it’s not often that my brain works in a linear fashion. So top ten lists have a certain appeal, as they are linear relief for my brain. For me, they bring structure to the chaotic, overwhelming landscape of news and social media.
Per Fast Company Psychologists have discovered a “Top Ten Effect,” where people lump everything into round number groups. In other words, if your business is ranked #11 on someone’s list, it could be the marketing kiss of death.
Although I have been known to criticize writers for taking the easy road with fluffy lists, I have to admit, it’s more likely that I will read an article if it’s in the form of a list. Lists are is easy to scan quickly for relevance. Although they are usually broad in nature, they can be a good primer for an unfamiliar subject, leading me to research something further. And even when want the two minutes of my life back when I get to the end and didn’t learn anything new, I still keep coming back for more.
I’m glad there’s some brain science behind our love for lists, as it proves to me that they aren’t going anywhere.